A brief report from the AFL-CIO convention today by Sam Hananel at the Associated Press tells us two things about how the group headed by Richard Trumka plans to expand its membership rolls.
The first is that the group wants to add "non-union groups." The second is they wish to enroll "workers who aren't covered by a collective bargaining agreement." Hananel never specifically says that one is in addition to the other, leading the reader to conclude that Hananel believes both targeted groups are one and the same (posted in full because of its brevity after the jump):
The "more non-union groups" gambit is clearly a way to let far-left "progressives" into the mix. The obvious concern for the rank and file worker should be that the AFL-CIO will become even less aligned with their interests than it already is. What can the three named groups above bring to the table except a dilution of the organization's core mission to organize and represent workers?
As to the allowance of non-union workers and even non-workers as members, that'll cost $10 bucks (for now). Perhaps the AFL-CIO sees itself as becoming an AARP equivalent. That may end up being good news for its coffers, but if AARP's poor advocacy on behalf of the retirees it's supposed to be representing is any indication, this gambit won't help core union members one bit.
Hananel only had four paragraphs, but he could have told readers that unions represent only 6.6% of private-sector workers, and that public-sector unions currently make up over half (51%) of the unionized workforce in the U.S. But that's a dirtly little secret unionized AP members in the News Media Guild would probably rather most people not know.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.